Would you recommend staying away from CentOs, Jason?
I'm not a fan. It's built on Red Hat legacy which, well... doesn't put many of the files where they belong in a *nix-like. Red Hat and their 'enterprise" versions were always a bit of a scam, and I distrust it.
RPM's suck compared to DEB's, YUM sucks compared to APT, etc, etc.
It's why I went with Debian for so long, and only switched this hosting over to Ubuntu because I wanted more recent packages such as PHP 7 "out of the box". What with Debian still only coming with PHP 5.6 and making you compile your own to get PHP 7 working. Admittedly, still compiling my own for testing and using FPM makes that a lot simpler to switch between, but it's still nice to know that things like the back-end panel are at least on a version of PHP that's still getting security updates.
Which is stupid, Debian is supposed to be focused on security and stability, but they're leaned so hard on the latter it's sacrificing the former.
For most of my hosting I just follow one of howtoforge's tutorials. Right now I'd suggest Ubuntu 18.04 with ISPConfig since the latter doesn't support the newer Ubuntu flavor yet unless you want to run the Beta. Whilst I like having bleeding edge, don't deploy beta's!
Besides when it's ready, it's not like you can't upgrade-in-place.https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/perfect-server-ubuntu-18.04-with-apache-php-myqsl-pureftpd-bind-postfix-doveot-and-ispconfig/2/
Oh, you mentioned building a linux box... if this is for doing web stuff and hosting, just get a $10 VPS. Might I suggest:https://afterburst.com/unmetered-vps
Even the $10 plan is overkill for most people. This site is on the $30 plan which is batshit over-the-top but leaves me room to tinker.
Just beware such plans are unmanaged. Their back end will bring the OS you choose up to JUST the point you can SSH into it. From there configuration and installation is up to you.